Are We There Yet, Are We There Yet

The Air Force will announce who won the Long-Range Strike Bomber competition soon, but not until all the questions have been answered, service acquisition executive William LaPlante said Thursday. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., LaPlante said he’s determined that the contract won’t go forward until “we get it right,” and he won’t refuse any part of his organization that wants to “check one more thing.” Speaking broadly about his philosophy of acquisition, LaPlante said “to go fast … you have to go slow,” meaning that requirements, terms, and contracts must be set correctly at the outset of a big program, and if they are, the rest will flow smoothly and without delays. As for the bomber, “nothing has changed,” he said. The only time forecast he alluded to was that “for a couple of months” he’s been saying the announcement is “two or three months away.” (Watch LaPlante’s speech.) (LaPlante Powerpoint.)